TSX surges back above 14,000, led by miners

Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:21pm EST
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By John McCrank

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose more than 1 percent on Friday, climbing back above the 14,000 mark in a broad rally led by the mining-heavy materials sector.

The rally followed four straight losing sessions on the TSX as investors worried about what impact the unrest in Libya and the Middle East in general might have on the global recovery as oil prices rose.

"The action earlier this week in the markets may now be perceived as an overreaction, so investors are now jumping in with both feet," said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

Commodity stocks, which took a drubbing when the market was sliding, made strong gains. First Quantum Minerals rose 3.1 percent to C$116.40, while Silver Wheaton gained 4.89 percent to C$39.86 and Teck Resources was up 3.14 percent at C$54.23.

The Middle East turmoil helped keep gold prices above $1,400 an ounce, but the rise in gold producers was also helped by improving market sentiment, said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

"We're seeing lots of dividend increases, lots of confidence, a lot of upbeat conference calls from Canadian CEOs, so that's what the market is focused more on," he said.

Shares of Goldcorp rose 3.49 percent to C$46.00 after the world's second-largest gold miner by market capitalization reported better than expected earnings after market close on Thursday and raised its dividend.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 184.82 points, or 1.33 percent, at 14,052.13. Eight of the index's 10 main groups were higher, with the materials sector up 2.5 percent and the energy group up 1.55 percent.   Continued...